As concerns over global warming, the endangerment of plant and animal species, and water rights escalate, many environmentalists are turning to Indigenous people for guidance. As part of a Society of Environmental Journalists special initiative focused on covering climate solutions, we take a closer look at nature-based solutions and Indigenous people with reporter Brian Bull. Check out a resource toolbox and stay tuned for a reporting tipsheet in coming weeks. Plus, be sure to register for a Sept. 28 webinar on covering Indigenous communities and nature-based climate solutions.
Religion, Faith and Spirituality
"Seated low in her canoe sliding through a rice bed on this vast lake, Kendra Haugen used one wooden stick to bend the stalks and another to knock the rice off, so gently the stalks sprung right back up."
"The National Association of Evangelicals has unveiled a sweeping report on global climate change, laying out what its authors call the “biblical basis” for environmental activism to help spur fellow evangelicals to address the planetary crisis."
"It was the height of summer and Pastor Farris Wilks was warning that if we didn’t all stop sinning, God was going to scorch the Earth and melt the polar ice caps."
"Mist suddenly arose from the Truful Truful River as it flowed below the snow-covered Llaima volcano, and Victor Curin smiled at the sun-dappled water spray. A leader in one of the Indigenous communities by the river’s shores in the Chilean Andes, Curin took it as a sign that the waterfall’s ngen — its owner and protector spirit — approved of his visit and prayer that mid-July morning."
"Kristen Burckhartt felt overwhelmed. She needed time to reflect, to let it sink in that she had just briefly soaked her feet in the water where Jesus is said to have been baptized, in the Jordan River. ... Physically, the Lower Jordan River of today is a lot more meager than mighty."
"James Kiona stands on a rocky ledge overlooking Lyle Falls where the water froths and rushes through steep canyon walls just before merging with the Columbia River. His silvery ponytail flutters in the wind, and a string of eagle claws adorns his neck."
"The Whanganui River is surging into the ocean, fattened from days of winter rain and yellowed from the earth and clay that has collapsed into its sides. Logs and debris hurtle past as dusk looms."
"The Pope’s apology brings renewed calls for reconciliation, reparations".
In 2006, a local government council in Pennsylvania concerned about sewage sludge dumping enacted the Western legal system’s first formal “rights of nature” instrument. Today, numerous countries have laws recognizing specific rights or even legal personhood for nature. As legal expert Alice Bleby explains, this new perspective arises from a wide range of contexts and plays out in many different ways.